Beat the Streets, an annual charity music festival in Nottingham set up to tackle homelessness within the local community, is ‘saving lives’ and ‘cutting the numbers of rough sleepers’ according to the chief executive of the charity Framework.

Taking place across venues in Nottingham in January 2020, this year’s festival attracted thousands of people to watch sets from 50 plus acts across 8 stages, with a packed out Rock City stage.

January’s multi-venue festival was headlined by Jake Bugg, a Nottingham native, and raised £75,000 via ticket sales, merchandise, tombola, collection buckets and bar spend as well as badges sold in advance of the festival. Since launching in 2018, the festival has raised £242,000 for Framework, a homelessness prevention charity.

The festival was organised by DHP Family, along with local music partners Rough Trade, I’m Not From London, Farmyard Records and Hockley Hustle. Alongside the money raised by the festival, 15 bags of food were also donated to Emmanuel House after running its first ever food bank during the festival.

The money raised in 2020 will be used to employ two mental health workers with the aim of offering complete support to rough sleepers with complex needs. The mental health specialists will form part of a new initiative providing tenancies to rough sleepers for whom traditional supported housing has not been successful in the past. They will offer support to those who struggle to access mainstream services to enable them to keep their homes whilst establishing stability and a sense of direction.

Framework chief executive, Andrew Redfern, said: “Without Beat the Streets there would be many more people sleeping rough in Nottingham than we currently see – and some of them would be dying.

“Each year the Nottingham Street Outreach Team finds nearly 800 people who are new to the streets.  They are able to find housing solutions for the vast majority of these people.  But more and more rough sleepers have complex needs – overlapping problems of mental ill-health, substance abuse, low self-esteem and in some cases a history of offending.  This makes it much harder for them to resettle – sadly, the more complex your needs the greater is the likelihood of you being left out in the cold.

“We are deeply grateful to the organisers at DHP, the artists and the paying public who support the event. Its impact is very powerful, and we thank everyone who works so hard to make it a success.”

Last year’s Beat The Streets fundraising enabled the Sneinton Hermitage shelter to stay open all year round, allowing it to accommodate more than 60 high risk service users with 14 moving on to permanent accommodation and 25 to supported accommodation.

Sam Allison at Rough Trade, a partner and venue for the festival, said: “We feel very honoured to be part of Beat the Streets and all the vital fundraising the festival does to help Framework and Nottingham’s homeless community. As we are situated right in the middle of Broad Street in the heart of Hockley, late at night you can really see how bad the homeless crisis is here in Nottingham, but three years on since the first festival things are starting to change for the better! Hopefully this festival continues to raise money and help those who need it most and Rough Trade will always be there to support DHP and Framework wherever we can in achieving their goals to help people achieve financial stability, social inclusion and independence.”

Beat The Streets booker Joseph Patten said: “Thank you so much to everyone who joined us at Beat the Streets. Those of you who booked a ticket, donated to the food bank, bought merchandise, participated in the tombola or grabbed a drink from the bar – your generosity has directly contributed to helping homeless people in need. We’re so grateful to the artists that have volunteered their time and talents to create such an amazing atmosphere, and to all those behind the scenes that kept the day running smoothly. It shows that music really is a force for positive change, and the money raised will make an important difference to people’s lives.”

Beat the Streets will next take place on 31 January 2021.